Why cases like CTE crash take time to process

SINGAPORE - In cases such as the recent Central Expressway crash, it can often take a while before an alleged offender is charged, lawyers said.

This is because there are many factors involved, said lawyer Raphael Louis.

First, the police have to trace witnesses. This may involve putting up signboards around accident sites to appeal for witnesses.

If witnesses step forward, the police will have to interview them. If there's more than one witness, they'd have to collate the information.

The police will also have to interview victims who may have survived, and the proposed defendant, he said.

Lawyer Luke Lee said that in a case like this, the emotional trauma will also have to be considered, both for the proposed defendant and survivor.

"You cannot just call them for an interview. You would have to give them some time to be more emotionally settled," he said.

The former police officer said that the police may have to refer as well to accident reconstruction experts to determine the speed the car which crashed into the group may have been travelling at.

Other considerations include checking for video footage and testing a person's toxicity to find out if drink driving took place, lawyer Rajan Supramaniam said.

Mr Louis said the police would then have to consult the Attorney-General's Chambers to decide which charges to proceed with.

For example, the accident could see the application of Section 304 of the Penal Code - causing death by rash or negligent act - or Section 65 of the Road Traffic Act, which relates to driving without due care or reasonable consideration, he said.

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